Before you try out the chess engine, you should first make a few settings. You can preset various settings for the hash tables, the playing strength, the game mode, the game levels, etc. Keep adjusting various parameters until you find the settings that work best for you. You can start the built-in chess engine in four different ways:

  • Start a new game
  • Start calculation process in a current position
  • Analyze a test file in EPD, PGN with FEN tag or FEN format respectively
  • Start Auto-Analysis mode.

To start a new game choose Play New Game command from the Engine menu, or click the icon image296.

chessacademy keyboard Alternatively: use keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+N.

play new game

Of course, you can start a new game at any time, even if no database and no teaching module is currently open. In this mode the engine plays against the user or against itself, depending on the settings.

To start the calculation process in any position, please select the Compute! command from the Engine menu, or click the icon image297.

chessacademy keyboard Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+A.


For obvious reasons, this command is only available when a board window is currently open. Examples are the game view, the board window in the teaching program or the analysis board. In this mode, the chess engine constantly analyzes the current position and suggests the best move.

If the engine has already started, you can transfer the position saved in the clipboard to the board by mouse click.

Please click on the icon image298 or please select the Paste option from the Edit menu.

chessacademy keyboard Alternatively, please use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+V.

paste option menu

If you want the engine to solve a series of test positions stored in a text file, select the command Analysis Mode… from the engine menu or click on the icon image299.

testing mode

After that, the program shows a file selection window where you have to select a file in EPD, FEN, or PGN format. However, the positions in this file must be separated by “FEN tags”. Select a corresponding file and press the Open button. Alternatively, double-click the corresponding file or simply press the Enter key.

Next, the program will show another file selection window. In this one, you have to determine the output file for saving the analysis results. By default, this is an EPD file.

Please note: If you want to save a test protocol as a text file, please click on “Create text protocol”. It will look similar to e.g. Engine Output in the Engine window.

If there is more than one position in the output file, you must next specify the range of positions to be analyzed. To do this, select either All or the setting from… – to… and press the Save button. After that, the chess engine will start to process the test positions one by one. Each position and its solution will be saved in the second file in a separate line.

Please note: The Chess Academy chess engine (as well as other engines that are registered under the Chess Academy interface and thus can be started) can be started only once in this window. If you want to start the engine while it is already calculated in another window, the program will ask you to confirm your decision. If you do so, the engine will be closed in the other window and opened in the current window.

Finally, you can use the Chess Academy Engine in the auto-analysis mode. It allows, for example, to automatically find and evaluate various innovations when analyzing games.

Please select the Auto-analysis option in the Engine menu or click the icon image300.

chessacademy keyboard Alternatively: please use the keyboard shortcut Alt+Z.

auto analysis mode2

This option is active only when you work with the database program and becomes inactive when you work with the tutorial program.

Please note: Such engine working modes as Calculation, Analysis mode, and Auto-analysis mode may be inactive if the WinBoard-compatible, UCI-compatible, or MCS-compatible engines you have registered under the Chess Academy program interface do not support such options as “Start from the non-starting position of the game”.

To close the Chess Academy Engine window (end variant calculation and stop Engine), please use the Close command in the Windows Control menu, or click Close in the upper part of the Engine window.

chessacademy keyboard Alternatively: Ctrl+F4 or click on the icon image301.

close windows

Attention. The chess engine does not change your settings independently. Basically, the settings that you had used at the last start remain saved. In other words: If you have played blitz games against the program before, the program will keep these settings in a test and try to solve all tests in the blitz game! Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you always set all the necessary parameters and settings before starting the engine. Also, keep in mind that you cannot change all settings when the engine is calculating. To make sure that your settings are accepted, restart the engine once when it is calculating.